Author: billboyd

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed Sharon Shewmake for state representative in Washington’s 42nd District.

Dr. Sharon Shewmake

“As a mother, professor, economist, and climate policy expert, Sharon Shewmake is the ideal candidate to bring forward smart policy, pragmatism, and a commitment to climate action to Olympia,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “Carbon Washington has been actively supporting Shewmake’s race to replace incumbent Vincent Buys because he does not appear to be paying attention to climate change at all.”

“I want climate legislation that grows our economy and cuts carbon pollution,” said Shewmake in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “If Washington State can be a leader, other states will see what is possible and copy us. This is our pathway to addressing the climate crisis as a nation.” (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed Democrats David Daggett and James Thomas in their races for Washington’s 35th District House seats.

Dave and Jeannine Daggett

“David Daggett understands that climate policy solutions can be job creators in his rural district, especially when it comes to biomass and alternative fuels – and to support the vibrant shellfish industry,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “His opponent, Republican incumbent Drew MacEwan, has taken some steps to deepen his understanding of climate issues, including participation in a bipartisan trip to Europe to learn about clean energy, but he has not yet turned his learning into concrete proposals or support for climate action.”

“Businesses should realize the positive long-term cost/benefit tradeoff of reducing CO2 pollution before devastating environmental damage occurs,” said Daggett in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “Having worked for many years in Fortune 500 companies, I have seen that incentives can motivate companies to make better environmental progress. Putting a price on CO2 pollution will encourage its reduction and will also create new business opportunities. However, a means needs to be found to not burden the working class, and especially the economically challenged.”

James Thomas

Carbon Washington also endorsed James Thomas in his 35th District House race. “Thomas is a solid choice, with years of experience in the district working on economic issues,” said Murphy. “He knows that addressing climate change also means protecting jobs in the shellfish and timber industry.”

“I will continue to promote environmentally responsible economic development and I will fight and vote for measures that confront climate change directly and aggressively,” said Thomas in his questionnaire. (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – In recognition of both candidates’ strong position on climate issues, Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed incumbent Senator Mark Miloscia (R) and his challenger, Claire Wilson (D), in Washington’s 30th legislative district.


Sen. Mark Miloscia

Sen. Miloscia has been very engaged in finding and supporting bipartisan, smart, accountable carbon reduction policies,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “We need more leaders like Sen. Miloscia who are willing to work across the aisle to address the increasingly urgent climate challenges facing us today.”

“I will support all efforts that try for compromise, quality, accountability,” said Sen. Miloscia in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington. “Only by working together, in a spirit of compromise, quality, and accountability, will we develop a carbon reduction plan that truly works.”

/var/folders/wd/gsl8x9wd0wqb8gnlzgdjgp_40000gn/T/ Washington also endorsed Sen. Miloscia’s challenger, Claire Wilson. “It is clear that Wilson is also deeply committed to equity and addressing climate change. In this case, we feel very fortunate to have two strong candidates who are ready to lead on climate issues,” said Murphy.

“If elected, I will be a vocal and public champion in the legislature for carbon reduction policies and insist that we include an environmental lens when making budget and other policy decisions,” said Wilson in her questionnaire. “I will advance environmental bills to reduce our state’s emissions, support clean industries, and mitigate the damage caused by effects of climate change we are already seeing — like wildfires and decreased air quality throughout the state. I will work with affected communities, especially tribal nations and communities of color, to ensure their voices are leading the way to a more sustainable economy and environmental future.” (more…)

Seattle, WA – September 25, 2018 – Carbon Washington, the organization behind the state’s 2016 ballot initiative to put a price on carbon (I-732), has endorsed two legislative candidates in Washington’s 47th District (Kent-Auburn-Covington): Republican State Sen. Joe Fain, who is running for re-election, and Democrat Debra Entenman, a Democrat running for state representative.


Sen. Joe Fain

“Sen. Fain has been one of the most consistent Republican voices on climate change,” said Kyle Murphy, Executive Director of Carbon Washington. “He supported Initiative 732 and continues to bring a true bipartisan spirit to solving the challenges associated with climate change. We applaud his courage tackling a complex and urgent issue.”

“Combating climate change requires sober thinking and reasoned action based on the best available science,” said Fain in response to a questionnaire distributed by Carbon Washington to candidates running for legislative office in Washington.

Debra Entenman

Carbon Washington also endorsed Debra Entenman, who is running for state representative. “Entenman is committed to addressing climate change through smart policy and strongly supports the transition to renewable energy sources,” said Murphy. “Meanwhile, her opponent, Incumbent Mark Hargrove, does not have a sensible position on climate issues. For voters who care about addressing climate change and protecting future generations, the choice is clear.”

“I believe that climate change is real, caused by the use of fossil fuels and can be slowed and reversed by legislative policies,” said Entenman in her questionnaire. “[These] may include cap and trade, fees and pricing, and EPA policies that include reductions in auto emissions.”

Update (10/25): We remain concerned about the sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Fain made on Sept. 27, after he received our endorsement. Sen. Fain has requested an investigation, which we believe is the appropriate course. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Hello, CarbonWA friends: Thanks to everyone who chipped in from our last e-newsletter to raise over $1,000 for Dr. Sharon Shewmake, the environmental economist running for state House in the 42nd! And, the movement for a price on carbon continues to spread beyond humble beginnings in Washington State. Read on for exciting progress. Plus, CarbonWA is preparing to endorse bipartisan climate advocates for state legislature.

Electing a Climate Majority + Blog on Kids Lawsuit

We discuss the recent dismissal of the Youth climate lawsuit in Washington State on our blog, and what it means for climate advocates. The summary is that it’s essential to elect a climate majority in the state legislature as the state court system closes off executive and legal avenues to climate action, and that we’ve got to do more than just elect candidates who talk a good game but can’t back it up. So, we’ve created a candidate questionnaire (check out the questionnaire our website) to evaluate candidates state legislature for endorsement and our support. (more…)

Hello, CarbonWA friends: The I-1631 effort is about to turn in their signatures (so turn ’em in if you got ’em!), a CarbonWA supporter is running for the state legislature, and debate is heating up over whether a national bipartisan revenue-neutral carbon fee effort is going to work or not. Read on for more!

Climate Action is Heading Back to the Ballot! 

The Yes on 1631 initiative effort is closing in on the signature deadline and they are asking folks to turn in their signatures to the Seattle office by June 30 or on July 2 at the Olympia turn-in event (more details on Facebook). Rumor has it the initiative is going to qualify, thanks in part to a strong volunteer effort, and we are assuming it’s going to move forward to the ballot in the fall. CarbonWA is supporting 1631. You can explore our full take on the strengths and weaknesses of the approach in our analysis of 1631.

A Race for State Legislature to Watch!

One of the primary reasons our effort to put a price on carbon fell short last legislative session was the lack of climate-focused lawmakers in both parties. That’s why we are so excited that Sharon Shewmake, a CarbonWA supporter from Bellingham, was so inspired by our grassroots efforts to act on climate that she’s running for state legislature to help make it happen.  (more…)

Hello, CarbonWA friends: The movement for a price on carbon in Washington State has put a few points on the board! Read on to learn more, and, don’t forget that I-1631 is gathering signatures right now — so if you want to get involved, go directly to the campaign website and review our analysis to learn more about the policy.


New UTC Rules Require Utilities to Include Price on Carbon 

In Washington State, our private utilities (Puget Sound Energy, Avista, and PacificCorp) are regulated by a body called the Utilities and Transportation Commission or UTC. Two former UTC commissioners actually sit on the CarbonWA board. The UTC’s job is to ensure private utilities follow the law and don’t take advantage of consumers, among other things. Utilities must have their rate increases and many other financial decisions impacting consumers approved by the UTC. And utilities are required to undertake a long term planning process that is overseen by the UTC (known as the Integrated Resource Plans or IRPs). The UTC has just determined that future IRP’s MUST include a price on carbon (of $40 per ton) as part of their economic analysis. This decision isn’t legally prohibiting the utilities from building fossil fuel plants in the future. But, the UTC is clearly telling utilities: if you build a fossil fuel plant that isn’t profitable with a price on carbon, we won’t consider that a prudent investment for which consumers should be on the hook.


Hello, CarbonWA friends: May the 4th be with you! We hope you channel the energy from Star Wars (or your favorite movie) to help make climate action happen!

Making change beyond Earth Day 

Another Earth Day has come and gone with many familiar pledges and suggestions circulating to hike more, get a reusable shopping bag, or start recycling. That’s all well and good, but, with climate change growing ever more urgent, we wanted to share some ideas for how you might seriously step up your climate-action game. We often think about climate and environmental actions as fitting into two categories: “me” actions and “we” actions. A “me” action is personal action you can take (like giving up beef or changing how you commute), without the help of others, that can help to reduce your personal impact. “Me” actions are important because they help you to live your values, and because they can encourage others in your personal network to follow suit. But no amount of bicycling and light bulb changing will stop global warming if we don’t also take “we” actions. “We” actions are political actions you can take, with the help of others, to get our entire economy shifted to be more sustainable and earth-friendly. A strong climate pledge would be to take one bold “me” action and one bold “we” action this year. (more…)

Statement from Carbon Washington’s Board of Directors 

Climate change is the critical issue of our time. Carbon Washington supports Initiative 1631 because we have a moral responsibility to protect our children and grandchildren by tackling climate change now to leave them a cleaner, healthier, and safer world.

Our state legislature has failed to enact any of the serious carbon reduction proposals that were introduced over the past 10 years. We are running out of time to prevent the extreme climate impacts that will occur with continued reliance on fossil energy. The unusual weather events our region experienced in some recent years provide a preview of those impacts. We saw record-low winter snowpack combined with record-high summer heat stress on forests, crops, fish, and workers; warmer and more acidic coastal waters; and more severe storms driving flooding, landslides, erosion, and polluted runoff. The citizens of Washington simply cannot afford to wait any longer for their elected officials to take action on this threat to our economy, communities, and way of life.

A strong, steadily rising price on carbon pollution is the most effective, and our preferred, policy tool for reducing emissions. I-1631 would enact a meaningful price on carbon while funding projects to advance clean energy resources, energy efficiency, electrification of transportation and heating, sequestration of carbon in natural lands, and other actions that reduce emissions. I-1631 would also fund important investments in forest and water resources to help adapt to the impacts of climate change in our state.

We are pleased that the sponsors of I-1631 have put a serious plan on the table. Carbon Washington has provided extensive analysis of the measure and how it compares to previous carbon pricing proposals (SB 6203 and I-732). Though we have concerns about some of the policy choices made by the authors of I-1631, we believe that, on balance, the measure is worth supporting. As we said many times in our campaigns to pass I-732 and subsequent carbon tax legislation, we cannot afford to let perfect be the enemy of good.

Washington State is well positioned to show the nation that carbon pricing can both reduce emissions and help create the prosperous clean energy economy of the future. We encourage Washington voters to sign the petition to put I-1631 on the November ballot.


Media inquiries: Email or call Samara Villasenor at 206-478-5643.

Hello, CarbonWA friends:

We Support I-1631! 

After another round of legislative inaction, a ballot initiative is moving forward to put a price on carbon. We’ve taken a close look at the policy, collected feedback from our supporters, and held a robust internal discussion about the initiative. As a result, we are moving forward in support of I-1631. You can see our full statement below. But, before you make up your own mind, we’d encourage you to review our recent in-depth analysis of the initiative (including a comparison matrix, exploration of wonky details, and a carbon reduction ranking).

While the 1631 policy differs in some ways from the approaches we’ve seen in recent years, we also see it as an outgrowth of the grassroots energy that put the first carbon tax in the nation on the ballot and has since led to a surge of serious legislative proposals. I-1631 also has the extra boost of a very favorable ballot title ruling from the Attorney General’s office (something the I-732 effort struggled with), and a recent upholding of the title against legal challenges from the Association of Washington Business and a conservative activist (who we don’t know much about except that his website logo is of sasquatch toppling the Olympia capitol). Read on for the reasoning behind our support of I-1631. (more…)